For the next few seasons, the Wild are going to be in salary-cap hell. They made sure of that last offseason by paying Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to go away.
More specifically, general manager Bill Guerin made sure of that by having the guts to make such a big move.
Though he understood the financial implications of the buyouts — $12.74 million in dead-cap money in 2022-23, $14.74 million in dead cap in 2023-24 and $14.74 million in dead cap in 2024-25 — Guerin believed it was the only way the Wild were ever going to make the leap to having a chance of being a Stanley Cup contender.
The status quo wasn’t working. Something needed to change.
With a fresh start, the Wild finished the regular season with a franchise record 53 wins and 113 points before losing to the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.
Question: Were the buyouts worth it? Answer: Absolutely.
While it might be hard to see progress after another early exit in the playoffs, the Wild are in much a better place heading into this offseason.
It finally feels as if this group is building toward something bigger, not scratching and clawing simply to stay on the periphery of the playoff picture.
With captain Jared Spurgeon in charge, and alternate captains Marcus Foligno and Matt Dumba leading alongside him, the Wild felt different on and off the ice this…